Donors stop funding orphanage after finding irregularities
June 30, 2016 01:10 AM NPT
By: Ashok Dahal
KATHMANDU, June 30: German donors have accused Ramesh Dhamala, chairman of Children's Welfare Organization (CFO), Dhading of misusing donations provided by them for the education of orphans.
Donors said they have asked Dhamala to quit the post immediately as he did nothing to improve the situation of the orphans despite repeated warnings. But after Dhamala refused to resign, the donors have stopped funding the CFO for six months.
Dhamala, who is also Dhading district president of Nepali Congress (NC), however, accused the donors of leaving the future of 104 children in uncertainty by stopping the funds to his organization.
In a statement jointly issued by Germany-based donors of the CFO, Roswitha Schroeter, Petra Pachner, Herwig Jantschik and Lothar Schmid, they have accused Dhamala of misusing the money to buy land for personal use.
The money was provided for the purpose of buying houses and training center in Dhadingbesi for the CFO.
“The price German donors have paid to buy the land was higher than the actual market prices and the money which the real owners received for their land. The donors have also collected proof that Mr Dhamala registered parts of the land which was paid by German donors in his own name,” reads the statement.
Similarly, the donors have also accused Dhamala of not providing land ownership certificate of the 3.5-ropani land (19166 square feet) bought for vocational training center in 2012 for 53,000 euros at Sankosh VDC in Dhading.
“Further, we have noticed several irregularities regarding our funds provided regularly on monthly basis. He is charging CFO to pay more than the real price and forces shopkeepers to make false bills,” the statement further reads.
In the statement, the donors have also accused Dhamala of employing staff hired for CFO for domestic work at his home.
Asked about the accusation, Dhamala claimed that the charges were false. “I have registered all the land in the name of the organization. I can email you the land ownership certificates as well,” Dhamala told Republica. But he has not sent the copy of the documents yet, despite several requests during follow up.
Dhamala admitted that he has been repeatedly asked to vacate the post of chairman. “Handing over the post of a chairman of an NGO is not that easy. It takes time,” said Dhamala. “Attempts to remove me as head of the organization are part of conspiracy to divert the money to some other places,” he said.
The donors have however said that they are ready to continue the donations if Dhamala handed over the post of chairman to someone else and ended the mismanagement within the organization.
The donors have been sending more than 10,000 euros every month to the organization for its running cost as well as for the education of 104 children at various private schools and colleges.
According to the statement, Dhamala had earlier agreed to handover his post immediately after he got elected to the post of district president of the party. He had agreed to the terms after donors announced not to send donation if he remained as CFO chair even after getting elected as district head of the NC.
According to the donors, Dhamala has remained the only chairman of the organization ever since the establishment of CFO in 2003 and other office bearers are his family members and relatives.
Co-founder of CFO and member of German donor team Roswitha Schroeter in the statement said, “Dhamala refused to solve the problems despite their repeated warnings.”
The donors have also accused him of not taking proper care of the children under the protection of the organization.
“Donors are upset that Dhamala re-admitted several boys who were discharged from the children's home because of [their] criminal behaviors and then utilize those children as his political supporters,” reads the three-page statement.
During their visits, donors found out that the CFO chairman forced staff and children to keep quiet about renewed criminal activities of those boys, added the statement.